I searched online for an 'easy bagel recipe' and this is what I found - this awesome guy used to own a bagel shop - so he knows what he is talking about - and as far as sharing his knowledge (and 2am wake up call for who knows how many years) I think he rocks!!!
My pictures show my 4 year old - yes 4 year old - helping with the bagels - this is how easy this is!!
Rolling them out (like snakes) then smooshing them under your hand... See how imperfect they are? That's why they call it home made - made with love - by a Mama and her 4 year old daughter...
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don't have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these days is instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.
Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 425.
Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don't get discouraged if they don't look perfect, it just takes practice!
Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.
After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done!
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what's got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!
You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.
My hubs called me mid bageldrum - he asked what I was doing and when I told him he said "aren't bagels super tempermental and super difficult?" Well, yes, from everything I have heard - but not this recipe - believe me! If my 4 year old can do it - so can you:)
I called my hubs when they were done - just to brag (b/c I can with him, it's all good) he asked what 'kind' I made. I made plain this time b/c I honestly didn't know what to expect - this weekend, I'll get crazy. He also asked me to save him one - since he won't be home until Fri eve - I apologized in advanced and told him that our 6 year old (who eats like a bird and is the pickiest eater in the universe) ate 2 of them in a row - I had one, my 4 year old had one (she had to taste the fruits of her labor!) and my 18 month old snarfed one down. They'll be gone tomorrow. Luckily, they are so easy to make and they are made from stuff I already have on hand - these will take a permanent spot in my baking repertoir.